• Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

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NASA’s Perseverance rover has been hit by 100 ‘dust devils’ on Mars

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover

NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

NASA’s latest Mars rover, Perseverance, encountered 100 dust devils in its first 90 days on Mars after landing in February.

Small whirlwinds on Mars, known as vortices, aren’t uncommon. They can be tens of metres wide and several kilometres high, with wind speeds upwards of 100 kilometres per hour. Many have been detected by other missions on Mars, such as the Curiosity rover and InSight lander.

If these vortices lift up Martian dust, they can form so-called dust devils – dusty columns towering into …